To the Editor:
I was very surprised late last Friday (Sept.r 4) before the holiday weekend to read that Jeanne Ives decided not to participate in the Editorial Board endorsement process for various local newspapers, including The Daily Herald, The Sun-Times and the Northwest Herald. She claims that endorsements from newspapers are “a waste of time.”
First, it’s PR 101 to send out any unflattering press release late on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend, hoping most people won’t hear about it. The info has missed the news cycle for the week, and by next week, it will be old news. Simply by the timing of the press release, her own campaign is acknowledging that this is a lame, cowardly decision, and that it hopes most people won’t notice.
The newspaper endorsement process is an opportunity for candidates to fully express their policy views and tout their accomplishments to a small group of editorial board members. It gives the board a chance to listen to each candidate directly and ask questions.
The press is neither friend nor foe. An endorsement is a chance for those experienced journalists to share with their readership the person who they think is the best candidate after talking with all of the candidates. It’s not the time to simply repeat what each candidate said during the process.
The decision for Ms. Ives not to participate only makes me think this: she must be very certain that she wouldn’t measure up to her opponent, Sean Casten, in the eyes of the editorial boards, in any of the local newspapers. It’s an uncharacteristically cowardly move, particularly for a West Point graduate.